I promise an answer.
But first, some background. Steve Taylor ran against Steve Olson for mayor of Franklin in April of 2014. One of the hot issues in Franklin back then was whether The Rock would be allowed to build a minor league baseball stadium at its site, and whether it would/should do so with city of Franklin financing.
A check of Taylor’s campaign contribution records (open public records) from his January 2014 Continuing Report, Pre-Primary Report, and Pre-Election Report showed employees from The Rock contributed $2,450 to his campaign.
Let’s be clear. There’s nothing wrong with those donations. In fact, the donors are to be commended for exercising their First Amendment rights and getting involved in the political process.
At the time, Taylor as an elected city official with control over the city budget and city spending sat on a task force that was to determine if and how much money would go from the city to the Rock for a potential new stadium.
A legitimate question then was whether Taylor could be unbiased on the entire issue.
At this past Monday’s Franklin Common Council meeting that included a few hours of public comment on Ballpark Commons, the latest proposal from the Rock’s Mike Zimmerman, one of the first residents to blast the plan argued that Steve Taylor should be forced to recuse himself from any future votes on the project. On a couple of occasions people who testified engaged in nasty name-calling and accusations targeted at Taylor. Those folks were immediately admonished by Mayor Olson to stop.
Longtime Franklin resident and advocate of senior citizens Casper Green scolded those in the audience who suggested that Zimmerman and Taylor were somehow, in Green’s word, “crooks.”
Should a pro-life elected official who accepts a contribution from Wisconsin Right To Life not be allowed to vote on an abortion issue?
Should an elected official who receives a contribution from the Sierra Club not be allowed to vote on an environmental issue?
The questions are absurd.
The above headline: Should Franklin alderman Steve Taylor have to recuse himself from votes on the Ballpark Commons project?
An emphatic NO.